Brief History

Over 50 years ago the Monteverdi Choir was formed for a one-off performance on Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 in Kings College Chapel Cambridge conducted by a student, John Eliot Gardiner. Since then, John Eliot Gardiner’s ensembles have expanded to include the English Baroque Soloists and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. The three ensembles have embarked on milestone international tours including the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000 and the Beethoven Symphonies Cycle in 1999. In 2005 Soli Deo Gloria, the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras own record label produced its first CD which won the Gramophone Album of the Year Award. And in 2007, the choir were joined by their first cohort of apprentices. The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras has led the classical music world in period music performance and will continue to do so far into the future.

1964

The Monteverdi Choir is formed for a performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge

1966

First London concert at Crosby Hall, Chelsea. Music by Dowland, Morley, Gibbons, Monteverdi and Berlioz

1967

Monteverdi 400th anniversary concert at the V&A

1968

The creation of the Monteverdi Orchestra for a performance of Handel’s Hercules at the V&A Museum

First performance at the BBC Proms performing Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610

1971

First European tour of Upper Rheinland: Basel, Strasbourg, Überlingen and Freiburg

1977

The first public performance of the English Baroque Soloists performing Handel’s Acis and Galatea at the Innsbruck Music Festival

1983

First tour to the USA to perform at the ‘Britain salutes New York Festival’, New York City

1989

Monteverdi Choir’s 25th anniversary tour performing Handel’s Israel in Egypt in the UK, USA, Australia, Japan and Taiwan

1990

First public appearance of the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique for a performance of Brahms Ein Deutsche Requiem in London and Germany

1991

Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloist’s recording of Beethoven Missa Solemnis wins Gramophone Best Choral and Record of the Year Awards

1993

Monteverdi Choir named ‘Best Chorus of the Year’ by the International Classical Music Awards

1995

The 30th anniversary celebration for the Monteverdi Choir at the Guildhall, London including performances of Poulenc and Tavener

1999

The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique embark on a Beethoven Symphonies Cycle which includes performances in Vienna, New York, Orange County and London

2000

The English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir spend a year performing all of J.S. Bach’s surviving church cantatas on the liturgical feasts for which they were written to mark the millennium and the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death

2004

The ‘Santiago Pilgrimage’ performing a cappella Spanish polyphony in churches en route from Averyon in the South of France to Santiago de Compostela

2005

Soli Deo Gloria produces its first album (Bach Cantatas: Volume 1) which wins Gramophone Record of the Year

2007

For the first time eight young singers join the choir for a year of performance and training as part of the creation of the Monteverdi Apprentice programme

2009

The first cohort of orchestral apprentices joins the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique

2010

Performances at the BBC Proms, Versailles, Pisa and Durham celebrate the 400th anniversary of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610

2013

The Choir take part in a ‘Bach Marathon’ - a celebration of Bach’s music lasting 9 hours

2014

Musicians perform at a gala performance at Buckingham Palace joined by our patron, HRH The Prince of Wales

The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique celebrate their 25th anniversary with concerts in Mexico, London and Budapest

2016 Monteverdi Choir take part in a major world tour of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, which they perform completely off-by-heart

2017

The English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir and soloists take part in a landmark tour of Monteverdi’s three surviving operas

50 years since John Eliot Gardiner’s first performance at the V&A Museum, the choir returns for a performance of extracts of Monteverdi’s operas